Marine Biology

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 279–286 | Cite as

The diatom Thalassiosira rotula affects reproductive success in the copepod Acartia clausi

  • A. Ianora
  • S. A. Poulet
  • A. Miralto
  • R. Grottoli


Fecundity, egg viability and fecal pellet production are reported for Acartia clausi females collected in the Bay of Naples, Italy, from April to October 1992 and fed either with a diatom (Thalassiosira rotula) or dinoflagellate (Prorocentrum minimum) diet, at food saturated conditions. The diatom diet significantly reduced both egg and fecal pellet production as well as hatching success. Blockage of egg development occurred with both axenic and non-axenic cultures of T. rotula, suggesting that inhibitors were provided by the diatoms and not by the bacteria associated with diatom cultures. Low hatching success was also artificially induced by exposing newly spawned A. clausi eggs to high concentrations of diatom extracts, indicating the presence of deleterious, inhibitory compounds blocking copepod embryogenesis. Fecundity and hatching success diminished significantly with female age. In contrast, female longevity was not significantly modified by food type. The presence of males did not significantly alter fecundity or egg viability. Females continued to produce viable eggs throughout the period of incubation, with and without males, in both food conditions, indicating that remating is infrequent and not necessary to sustain viable egg production in this species. The succession in low and high population densities may therefore be the outcome of variations in survival rates of eggs, rather than reproductive protential perse; such variations may strongly depend on the adult copepod diet.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ianora
    • 1
  • S. A. Poulet
    • 2
  • A. Miralto
    • 1
  • R. Grottoli
    • 3
  1. 1.Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Observatoire OcéanologiqueCNRS&Université Paris VIRoscoffFrance
  3. 3.Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico “A. Cerruti”TarantoItaly

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